November 14, 2014
The 2014 ACM ICPC East Central North America Regional Programming Contest (ACM ICPC ECNA RPC) was held on Saturday, November 8, 2014. We had 140 teams from 61 colleges and universities throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Ontario, and Indiana (excluding the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area). This is the largest number of teams to have competed in an ECNA contest.
As it was difficult for some teams in the ECNA region to travel to a single site for the contest, the ECNA RPC was held as a distributed contest. There were four contest sites:
- University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio (37 teams from 17 schools)
- Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan (27 teams from 12 schools)
- University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario (22 teams from 11 schools)
- Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio (54 teams from 21 schools)
The ECNA RPC was successful this year, although not without its issues. Here are a few comments and observations:
- The software development environment was based on the environment prepared for the 2014 ACM ICPC World Finals.
- Just prior to the start time of the practice contest, system staff at the Grand Valley site reported that teams could not log on to their server. The problem centered around the inability of machines in the lab used by teams to communicate with the Grand Valley server.
- Various attempts to resolve the problem all failed and after a lengthy delay, the practice contest was started for the other sites.
- After the practice contest ended, further troubleshooting was performed and staff were finally able to establish PC2 communication between team machines and the server.
- Further testing was performed approximately 90 minutes prior to the start of the contest, with communication seeming to work properly.
- Just prior to the start of the contest, the Grand Valley staff reported that teams could not connect to their server.
- After further testing, a second server at Youngstown State was employed to serve the team machines at Grand Valley. Teams were able to connect to the backup server and the contest was started.
- At the start of the contest, the Skype connection used to communicate between Youngstown and Windsor failed. This resulted in a two-minute delay between the start of the contest and the release of problem sets to teams at the Windsor site.
- After discussing the issue with the Windsor site director and judges, a decision was made to adjust times from Windsor by two minutes for each problem solved. This resulted in one change in standings: Brock U. moved from 19th place to 18th place.
- In addition, problems submitted by teams at Windsor during the final 79 seconds prior to stopping the contest clock were judged. All submissions in this time period were incorrect.
- Version 9.3beta-2846 of the PC^2 Contest Control System was used to run the Contest. During the contest, it was noted by staff at all four sites that the pc2team program would occasionally stop communicating with servers. Restarting the program resolved the communication problem, but it was not always immediately apparent to a team that the program stopped communicating.
- The contest started at 10:41:17 EST and ended at 15:42:36 EST.
- The contest consisted of 9 problems with 41 teams solving at least one problem.
- The maximum number of problems solved by any team was 8 problems.
- After the contest, it was noted that test data for problem E was flawed. A new set of test data was generated and the 16 submissions for problem E were rejudged. All previously accepted submissions were still judged correct and one previously incorrect solution was later judged correct. This resulted in one change in standings: CMU4 solved four problems and moved from 7th place to 5th place.
After a brief respite, the ECNA steering committee will discuss the issues that arose during the contest and put in place measures to prevent them from occurring in future contests.
You can view the final standings here.
You can view the problem sets, test data and judges' solutions here.
Congratulations to the following teams on their awards:
- Jolly Jumpers (highest jump in rank from the previous year)
Golden Flashes I, jumping from 105th place in 2013 to 17th place
- Extreme Programmers (earliest correct solution)
Waterloo Gold, solving problem B in 0:21
- Steadfast Gurus (last correct solution)
Cream, solving problem C with 2 minutes remaining
- Solid Programmers, solving the most problems with fewest
CMU6, solving three problems with only one incorrect submission for those three.
- Relentless Programmers (most attempts before correct solution)
Spirit Breaker, solving problem A on their 9th attempt
Note: Teams are only eligible to win one prize.